"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

For Want of a Mo…

Nick Johnson is still coming to bat to the Miley Cyrus earworm “Party in the USA” (a song so insidious that even our own Cliff Corcoran, normally a pillar of taste and decency, could not stop humming it at Monday night’s Yankees game, until I threatened to stab him with a pencil). But I will not make fun of Johnson for that today, because he got on base all five times he came to bat, with a home run, a double, and three walks. The Yankees ended up needing every run they could scrape together, as seven innings of fairly stress-free cruising turned into a nail-biter thanks to Andy Pettitte’s early exit (with elbow stiffness) and the twitchiness of the Mariano- and Joba-less bullpen; New York held on by their fingernails for a 7-5 win and a sweep of the Orioles.

The Yanks are increasingly banged up, and today it was Battlecat Pettitte’s turn to leave the game early with stiffness. This came shortly after the fourth inning, in which he loaded the bases with one out, got Matt Wieters to strike out, walked in a run, and then wriggled out of further trouble with a Craig Tatum groundout – the quintessential bend-don’t-break Pettitte of recent years. Early reports are that his subsequent MRI indicated mild inflammation, which doesn’t sound too bad… but then, who knows – multiple members of the 2009 Mets left games with a mild inflammation and were never seen again.

The New York hitters never exactly bludgeoned O’s starter David Hernandez, but they knocked him around for a few innings, much like my friend’s cat behaves when it has a spider cornered. He wasn’t helped by a number of sloppy plays and lackadaisical baserunning on the part of his teammates, and neither, I’d wager, was Dave Trembley’s blood pressure. Nick Johnson hit a booming home run in the first; Nick Swisher homered in the second; Alex Rodriguez singled Jeter home in the third. In the fourth the Yankees put together a messy rally through walks, singles, a bunt and a fielder’s choice, knocking Hernandez out of the game and putting the score at a then-comfortable 6-1.

Sergio Mitre kept things under control for several innings after Andy Pettitte’s departure – and maybe earned himself a spot start if Pettitte needs to miss a game – before giving up a two-run homer to Ty Wigginton (ASIDE: I only just realized I have been incorrectly writing “Wiggington” for many, many years). Damaso Marte got New York out of the eighth, but Joe Girardi’s Reliever Roulette luck ran out in the ninth: Dave Robertson was awful, giving up two homers and swelling his ERA to 14.21, and Boone Logan could not staunch the bleeding, getting one out but walking two Orioles, and leaving the game with the go-ahead run at the plate. Finally, Alfredo Aceves came to the rescue and induced a fly ball from Wigginton. No harm, no foul, but nothing shakes up a baseball fan’s soul like a terrifyingly unpredictable bullpen — and for Yankees fans, pretty much any bullpen that does not have Mariano Rivera available qualifies as terrifyingly unpredictable.


Meanwhile, it seems Dallas Braden has still not recovered from the emotional scars he received when his pitching mound was stepped on several weeks ago. He also actually said the words “We don’t do a lot of talking in the 209,” with “the 209” apparently referring to Stockton, California. This is now officially the most inane, ridiculous baseball story we’ve had in quite some time, and I have to say I’m enjoying it immensely.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Emma Span

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1 Boatzilla   ~  May 6, 2010 6:05 am

Fantastic report, Emma. You are getting spicier as the season develops. Pour it on. Question: why do Californian's like to refer to themselves by their zip codes? I grew up in suburban Jersey, and I can't imagine saying, "Money talks in the 834. And you know what walks." Hmmmm, I'm in Tokyo's 167 now. How about, "We bow for no man in the 167."

2 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 6, 2010 6:21 am

[0] "The 209"?? Oh man...that's hilarious...

[1] BOO-Yah, Boatzilla! I got ya beat tough, those yak boyz don't fuck wit me in the 151!

3 RIYank   ~  May 6, 2010 6:24 am

[1] I'm hearing it on Boston sports radio now, too. "Big Pawpi: National Hero or washed up Looosah? Heah's Paul in the 978, go ahead Paul". I think they got it from Jim Rome, which would confirm your California theory. Do all trends originate in California?

4 Boatzilla   ~  May 6, 2010 6:41 am

[3] Only the silly ones. ;>)
...And before any one yells at me, I was born in San Francisco.

5 Boatzilla   ~  May 6, 2010 6:43 am

[2] Props. But my place of biz is the one-4-oh, and nobody works it like the one-4-Oh, Yo!

6 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2010 7:49 am

I play with a lot of guys like Braden...they are basically frustrated tough guys who really couldn't cut it in a gang, so they joined a sports team.

7 Sliced Bread   ~  May 6, 2010 8:36 am

Despite all the inuries the Yanks are set up pretty well for the next couple series. They've got their best 3 available starters (Hughes, CC, AJ) going in the Boston seried -- and in Detroit, Javy and Mitre will be pitching in the biggest park in the country, mitigating the potential meatball showers. The Yanks have been scoring runs up and down the order, so no worries at this point, right? Pettitte's a serious concern, but even if they DL him before his next scheduled start (which I think they should) he'll only miss two, possibly three starts. Despite everything, the good times should keep rollin'.

8 Ben   ~  May 6, 2010 8:36 am

I love that area code stuff. Right out of a bad movie.

"... and my 2-0-2's keep my marvelous..."

I usually refer to my home as Inwood. But forget that. I'm going ballistic. I'm gonna start referring to us as the 34th. As in the police precinct.

Or I just started up with my sons PTA. Maybe I'll go by school district. Yo! we need mad funds in THE 6 to keep the enrichment programs and whatnot.

9 The Hawk   ~  May 6, 2010 8:45 am

I think A Rod is an ass, and walking across the mound like that was one of his weird annoying things he occasionally does. But Braden is an insufferable jerk. He already eclipsed whatever minor wrong A Rod perpetrated with his initial round of shit-talking, now he's the story, full stop. Maybe that's what he wants.

He mischaracterizes what A Rod said, too. It's not that you can't compete against him, it's that you should keep your mouth shut with such a thin resume.

Though in his defense, the interviewer says "the 209" first. The interviewer seems like more of a jerk than Braden actually.

10 Sliced Bread   ~  May 6, 2010 8:55 am

call me cheap, but I strictly roll in the 1-800s.

11 Just Fair   ~  May 6, 2010 8:56 am

Braden says they don't do much talking in the 209 but he continues to expound upon a stupid incident that happened several weeks ago. What a dickhead. '93 Keepin' it for Realzzzzz.......

12 Alex Belth   ~  May 6, 2010 8:59 am

Braden. LOL, LOL, LOL

13 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2010 9:01 am

I wonder if the mound in Oakland has its own zip code?

14 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 6, 2010 9:03 am

[1] 834? There is no such area code in New Jersey. In fact, there is no such area code in the US. Are you a spy?

15 Diane Firstman   ~  May 6, 2010 9:25 am

Don't be messing with the 3.14s .... (the unofficial Felix Pie fan club ... and yes we know its pronounced 'pee-yay')

16 RagingTartabull   ~  May 6, 2010 9:30 am

I always thought Oaktown's area code was 357


17 OldYanksFan   ~  May 6, 2010 9:38 am

It seems we are a bit banged up. And 2 very important guys are playing pretty poorly. Yet we keep rollin' along. Some weak competition of late has helped. GREAT SP. Shakey BP.

Can we keep winning, against better teams, without ARod and Teix?

18 Sliced Bread   ~  May 6, 2010 9:42 am

[17] yes. see [7]

19 OldYanksFan   ~  May 6, 2010 9:44 am

Ya just can't predict baseball:
2009 Barry Zito: 4.03, 1.35, 10-13
2010 Barry Zito: 1.49, 0.92, 5-0

20 Sliced Bread   ~  May 6, 2010 9:44 am

[17] I'd add that ARod and Tex are contributing, just not leading the charge yet. They'll be better than fine.

21 Yankee Mama   ~  May 6, 2010 9:49 am

Those of us in the 2-1-effin 2 find that pitcher in the 2-0-9 mildly entertaining, but largely insignificant. Billy Beane, control your boy! Then again, this might be the only news coming from the 'As.

Oh Emma, now I am absolutely consumed by that silly song. Dag!! Maybe we need a reprise a little ditty as an antidote.


Back at ya.

22 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 6, 2010 9:54 am

[21] I'm not a religious man, but I unironically love that song.

23 ms october   ~  May 6, 2010 9:58 am

[21] haha i knew what that link was going to be. stopped that damn thing from loading immediately.

[13] perhaps it should be 911 - since braden is a joke.

24 seamus   ~  May 6, 2010 10:22 am

props to y'all from the 900!

25 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2010 10:33 am

[23] As soon as I read [21], that song immediately popped into my head...as it does randomly from time to time.

[17] The Yankees are getting pretty good contributions across the board, but it is disguised by low batting averages. For example, NJ and Arod have OPS+ of 99 and 108, respectively. So, while they are struggling, they are contributing something. The only guy offering little is Teixeira, but that has to come to an end sooner than later.

26 RagingTartabull   ~  May 6, 2010 10:42 am

pour one out for Robin Roberts

27 Sliced Bread   ~  May 6, 2010 10:50 am

[25] Tex contributed yesterday. His 2 RBI, in a game Yanks won by 2, not chopped liver.
4 hits on Sunday, only 5 ks in his last 10 games. He's coming around.

28 Yankee Mama   ~  May 6, 2010 10:53 am

[22,23,25] Until I find evidence to the contrary, I think of that song as the Banter's unofficial theme song, much like score truck is our rallying cry.

This, coming from a most unreligious human.

29 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2010 10:55 am

[27] I know he is, but for the season, his offensive contribution has been the least.

30 rbj   ~  May 6, 2010 11:00 am

I wonder if Braden is going to get a talking to from Bud. He does sound like he's threatening A-Rod.

31 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 6, 2010 11:07 am

[8] Yeah, but if you really want to do that, it's not the 34th, of course, it's the Three-Four.

32 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 6, 2010 11:10 am

[21] I fell for the trap, and this boll weevil will torture until sleep. At least the Marilyn Manson version of the song was linked on the YouTube page.

I was at the game yesterday and the reality is that BaltOs defense is not of major league caliber, and they prolly would have won if they were just average on D.

It's great that the Yankees are winning in so non-Yankee like fashion, but will it last? I am truly fearful, but giving the benefit of the doubt to management. Also, when will the Rays lose?

That's all from the big 9 1 4 (just north of the Boogie Down), where all we do is talk in dulcet tones.

Audi 5000 (or is it now, Toyota Camry?)

33 Yankee Mama   ~  May 6, 2010 11:10 am

[30] Agreed. Why isn't his manager/general manager reigning him in? He sounds like a thug!

34 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 6, 2010 11:11 am

[13] [23] Very, very nice.

35 seamus   ~  May 6, 2010 11:13 am

[30] all that talk, he better get thrown out quickly if he throws anywhere near A-rod. you know, anywhere near the One Three.

36 Diane Firstman   ~  May 6, 2010 11:13 am


You wanna sing about Jesus ... then sing!


(not a religious person by any means)

37 rbj   ~  May 6, 2010 11:15 am

[33] I wonder if his teammates are telling him to shut up so that they don't get plugged in retaliation.

38 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2010 11:23 am

[32] You are spot on about the Orioles defense. Yesterday, they basically played an entire infield out of position:

1B - Atkins is really a 3B
2B - Wigginton is a DH
SS - Lugo is really a 2B
3B - Tejada was a SS, but now a DH

39 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 6, 2010 11:27 am

[32] No kidding. As I remarked yesterday, they have got to be the worst (major league, of course) defense I have ever seen. It's just incredible to behold.

40 Yankee Mama   ~  May 6, 2010 11:38 am

[36] We used to sing that at my grandmother's Hadassah meetings.

41 a.O   ~  May 6, 2010 12:23 pm

775 represent, yall!

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver